Becky spent the night out on a date with her girlfriend and now, as the night is wrapping up, things are heating up. At first, it is in a good way… but after a phone call and a misplaced comment, the two girls find themselves arguing- And things take a turn for the worst when Becky decides to leave for home on her own, speeding through Shadow Oak’s dimly-lit forest roads. 3,306 words.
mild sexual content / emotional abuse / racism / horror themes / car accident
Mattel’s breath was hot on Becky’s neck. Her tongue tickled lightly over freckled skin like the dew-coated grass that soaked the girls’ clothes as Mattel pressed Becky firmly to the ground.
Becky let out a shaky breath as she felt Mattel’s hips grind against hers— Then gasped as teeth pinched her ear.
‘Shh,’ Mattel whispered. ‘Not a sound.’
Becky tried to hold back her moan, though she felt it escape as a whimper.
‘Shh,’ Mattel’s breath was hovering along Becky’s cheek, now. And her hand slid over Becky’s chest as their lips met. ‘That’s my good girl….’
Becky felt herself shivering as Mattel returned to her neck. And she couldn’t stop herself from letting out another gasp as she felt Mattel’s teeth again.
‘You’re going to—‘ Becky interrupted herself with a loud moan. ‘You’re going to leave a mark!’
‘Good,’ Mattel replied. ‘Then everyone will know you’re mine.’
Another moan, and Becky felt her entire body tense in anticipation as her wrists were snatched from Mattel’s hips and slammed down either side of her head to hold her firmly in place.
‘Shh,’ Mattel hushed her again, though it was muffled by Becky’s skin. ‘Be a good girl….’
A low, harsh buzz sounded from Becky’s bag and she glanced over to see the light from her phone peeking through the zip.
‘Ignore it,’ Mattel whispered before running her tongue over Becky’s ear.
‘It’s— Isa—‘ Becky replied breathlessly. ‘I have to—‘
‘No—’ Mattel cut off in a sigh as Becky rolled out from under her. She grumbled as Becky made a grab for her bag, and crossed her arms and gave a loud sniff. ‘Ignore it, Becky!’
‘I can’t,’ Becky replied before taking a deep, slow breath to stop her voice from wavering. Then she cleared her throat and answered the phone on speaker. ‘Hey, Isa.’
‘Rebecca Bloom, what do you think you are doing!’ Isa’s voice was harsh enough to make Becky flinch. ‘It is ten o’clock on a school night, and I just found your bed empty!’
‘Uh— Isa I was just—‘
‘—Where are you!’
‘I’m…’ Becky cast a glance to Mattel, who dramatically rolled her eyes. ‘I’m with Mattel.’
Isa let out a disapproving sigh, and Becky bit her lip as Mattel echoed it and threw up her hands in frustration.
‘I’ll… start home before twelve,’ Becky said, slowly.
‘You’ll start home now.’
‘Eleven?’ Becky tried.
Becky felt herself shrink back at Isa’s firm voice. ‘Okay,’ she muttered. ‘Now.’
‘And don’t let that girl hold you up!’ Isa scolded. ‘You hear me?’
‘Yes, Isa,’ Becky replied.
‘Good…. I love you. Stay safe.’
‘I love you too, Isa,’ Becky felt the corners of her mouth twitch into a weak smile as she said it. ‘I will.’
The phone –clicked– loudly as Isa hung up— And Mattel immediately sighed twice as loud.
‘I told you to ignore her,’ she said, wrapping her arms around Becky from behind and pressing her lips into her cheek.
‘Mm,’ was all Becky found herself able to reply with. ‘Mm…. I have to go….’
‘Stay,’ Mattel said, gently, her kiss sliding down to Becky’s shoulder.
‘I can’t,’ Becky muttered.
‘Yes you can,’ said Mattel; her grip tightening. ‘You don’t have to listen to her.’
‘I…’ Becky felt Mattel’s warmth tight against her back and let out a long, relaxed breath. Mattel was right, wasn’t she? Becky was nineteen, going on twenty…. She was far from a child, now, and shouldn’t have to worry about being scolded…. If she stayed out late and slept in tomorrow, that was her fault and she’d accept the consequences, but it was her own choice—
‘It’s not like she’s your mum or anything.’
Becky tensed, at that. But before she could say anything her phone gave a familiar ding and she looked down to see Isa’s text.
You had better be in your car.
Becky gave a heavy sigh and pulled away from Mattel.
‘I have to go.’
‘I’m sorry, Mattel,’ said Becky as she pushed herself to her feet and grabbed her bag. ‘I have to.’
Mattel let out a hard, heavy snort and crossed her arms as Becky collected her things.
‘You know,’ Mattel hissed. ‘Maybe, for once, you should consider picking me over the help.’
Becky stiffened, pausing halfway through zipping up her bag. Oh, god no….
‘It’s always “Isa said this,” or “Isa wants me to do that”!’
Was Mattel really going to pick a fight with her?
‘I mean come on, Becky!’
After such a good date?
‘You’ve been like this all month,’ Mattel continued. ‘I don’t know why you’re so upset with me!’
‘I’m not upset—‘
‘—Was it that reborn comment I made?’ Mattel gave a scoff. ‘Because it feels like that’s when this all started!’
‘—Ugh, I don’t get what the big deal is, Becky!’ Mattel continued. ‘It was one comment! And it was true!’
‘It wasn’t true!’ Becky exclaimed, finally rounding on Mattel. ‘It was racist!’
‘I’d hardly call reborns a “race,”’ Mattel rolled her eyes. ‘You have to be people to be part of a race.’
Becky had to bite her tongue to stop herself from snapping back. She rolled it along her teeth for a moment before taking a deep breath and speaking as calmly as she could. ‘Reborn are people.’
‘Oh, sure, sure,’ Mattel scoffed. Then she laughed. ‘Okay, though. You can’t be mad at me because— Let’s be real. Even if you’re right, and they are people, they’re still gross! Like. You still wouldn’t date one, would you? Like take— Take uh… what’s his name? From class? That patchwork boy.’
Adam, Becky felt the hair on her arms stand on end as Mattel brought up her friend. God, she better not….
‘I mean, look at him! He looks like a pair of my grandfather’s pants!’ Mattel shook her head and pushed back her hair. ‘You wouldn’t date him, would you!’
For a moment, Becky was quiet… only finding herself able to answer when Mattel raised a brow.
‘There’s… nothing wrong with Adam,’ she said, slowly. ‘He’s nice.’
‘Wow,’ Mattel grunted.
Becky sighed, and looked away from Mattel; instead busying herself with digging through her bag for her keys.
‘Wow,’ Mattel repeated. ‘Becky, just wow. I didn’t think I’d ever hear you defend the corpse-kid!’
‘I have to go,’ Becky said, firmly. ‘Do you want a lift home or not?’
‘I dunno, Beck,’ Mattel’s eyes narrowed. ‘I don’t know how I feel about getting in a car with a necrophile.’
‘Necro— What?! How dare you!’ Becky exclaimed, finally losing her patience. ‘Do you have any idea— How dare you!’
Mattel glared at Becky for a moment, her eyes still sharp— And then, she gave a wicked grin. ‘See? I’m right. You wouldn’t date a corpse. You’re disgusted by the very idea of it!’
‘Do you have any idea how serious an accusation you just made?!’ Becky felt her voice rise as she stepped towards Mattel— She could feel tears welling in her eyes and had to blink to keep them back. ‘Reborns aren’t— It’s not the same thing! You have no idea what you’re talking about!’
‘And you do?’ Mattel shot back. ‘How would you know anything about reborns? You been hanging out with them or something?’
Blood going cold, Becky bit her tongue.
She couldn’t answer that.
But then, when she didn’t say anything, it was clear Mattel understood why. She sneered in disgust and stepped back. ‘Oh, gross.’
Becky took a slow, shaky breath and met Mattel’s eye. ‘Enough, Mattel,’ she said before turning to walk away. ‘You can find your own way back to town.’
‘Hey— No!’ Mattel snapped and rushed after Becky. ‘You can’t just leave me here—‘
Mattel’s hand closed around Becky’s wrist and, before she knew what she was doing, Becky’s other hand met Mattel’s cheek and the woman stumbled back into a tree.
‘Don’t touch me!’ Becky snapped. ‘Call your uncle to pick you up or something, I’m done with you! I never want to see you again!’
Mattel rubbed the mark Becky had left for a moment. Then, she scowled and made for her bag. ‘Fine. I’ll call my uncle.’
Becky returned the sentiment by spitting at the ground and stalking away.
‘Drive safe!’ Mattel mocked as Becky vanished into the trees. ‘Bitch.’
Becky ignored her and trudged through the undergrowth back to her car, which she climbed into with a huff.
She set her hands on the wheel and, for a moment, let out a long, slow breath….
Then she burst into tears, and her chest heaved as she let out the ugliest sobs she’d ever heard herself make.
‘Fucking god,’ she breathed into the steering wheel. ‘What the fuck, Mattel?!’
She couldn’t believe how quickly Mattel had turned on her.
She couldn’t believe it!
Maybe… maybe she should have just kept quiet, and let Mattel say what she wanted…. But….
Becky sniffed, and sat up straight as she thought of Adam.
The idea of sitting by while Mattel badmouthed her friend made her skin crawl.
Maybe it was her fault for the argument, keeping her friendship with Adam such a secret, but… but if this was how people reacted to the idea her even just knowing things about him then maybe she was right to pretend they didn’t know each other….
Or maybe she was just a coward. And a bad friend….
Her phone buzzed, and she wiped her eyes as she pulled it out and looked to its glaring screen. Another text from Isa.
I’m having a bath, it read. You had better be home by the time I get out.
‘Fuck,’ Becky let out a heavy sigh and sniffed back the last of her tears. ‘Oh, god. What am I doing?!’
She took another moment to wipe her eyes, before letting out one last heavy breath and starting the car.
The last thing she needed right now was to go home to Isa scolding her. She’d have to drive quickly to make it back in a decent time— A little over the speed limit would be fine. Sheriff Jackie would probably be on the other side of town, right now, dealing with Jareth and Benny riding around on their bikes like idiots or— Or god forbid, he could be arresting fucking Wendy Shedskin for breaking into another house.
Either way… she should be fine to go a little faster than usual. It was dark, and nobody else was out driving in the area— What could possibly happen?
Gently, Becky pressed down on the accelerator and felt the car speeding up.
It felt too slow.
Better, but still too slow if she wanted to make it home before eleven….
Trees began to speed past her in a blur, illuminated eerie yellow by her high beams and casting thick shadows into the deeper woods.
A tall figure darted out in front of the car, stumbling like a drunk and making it halfway across the road before being caught in the headlights and freezing.
Two seconds was all Becky had to react. She hit the breaks and swerved to avoid them— And her head was filled with a burst of black static and loud screeching that cut off as suddenly as it started; leaving her with nothing but a heavy pounding in her ears.
Slowly, she opened her eyes.
There was glass everywhere. Shifting in her spinning vision like confetti.
Her body ached.
Her eyes couldn’t focus.
And there was… blood… on the dashboard….
Or had she hit whoever…?
Slowly, Becky pushed herself up and glanced to the road to see if whoever had run out was still there.
It was a deer.
There was… a deer. Staring at her.
She thought it was staring at her….
Though it was hard to tell….
She lifted her hands, placing them each side of her head to try and hold her brain still enough to see properly.
There was glass in her hair.
And the car wasn’t moving….
She was going to be late home.
And Isa was going to be… so mad at her….
Isa could help.
She could call… Isa….
Fumbling, Becky made for her phone. She held the side button until the screen, now shattered through the centre, illuminated and spoke to her.
‘Call… Isa,’ she managed. Talking… was… harder than she remembered it being….
The phone rung, and then Isa’s voice spoke.
‘Hello,’ she said.
‘Isa…’ Becky began.
‘—Isa’vanna Valstille’s phone. I am not available right now. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I am able.’
A harsh beep sounded, penetrating Becky’s headache like a punch to the jaw— And she immediately hung up to silence it.
‘Isa…’ she mumbled.
A stick cracked to Becky’s side, and she slowly glanced up to see the deer freeze again; now standing halfway from the road to the car.
Weird, Becky thought. Then, she glanced back to her phone again. ‘Call… Isa.’
Another stick cracked and Becky looked back to the deer.
It was even closer, now.
The deer’s ears twitched.
‘Isa’vanna Valstille’s phone….’
It tilted its head.
‘I am not available right now….’
Its head kept turning.
‘Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I am able.’
Its head was now upside-down.
The harsh beep sounded again, and the deer’s head snapped back into its natural position.
Weird… Becky thought again. That wasn’t… normal. Was it?
The deer began to tilt its head again, in the opposite direction this time…. And now, without the sound of Isa’s message echoing through the air, Becky could hear the deer’s neck —pop— and —crack— as it twisted.
It let out a low, deep groan and gently started to match Becky’s own movements as she swayed unsteadily in her seat.
‘Weird…’ Becky muttered it aloud this time. Then, she noticed strange, dark patches dappling the deer’s pelt and cocked her own head.
She hung up the phone and opened her camera app; her head pounding as she navigated to the settings she needed…. And when she looked up from her phone the deer was at the car, staring in through the window frame with its wide-open eyes and breathing heavily.
Slowly, not taking her eyes off the animal, Becky lifted her phone and snapped a photo.
The flash went off, illuminating the deer’s eyes red as it let out a distressed bellow and turned— Bolting into the woods on its hind legs.
Becky wasn’t sure what to think.
Her head…. Her head hurt too much to think.
Isa wasn’t answering.
She needed… someone….
‘Call…’ she hesitated. Who could she call?
The phone flashed at her, speaking in its robotic tone. ‘Who would you like to call?’
Who could she….
No…. Not her…
Could she call…?
‘Ada… No…’ she changed her mind. ‘Call… Dad….’
The phone gave a beep of confirmation, and began ringing.
It was picked up almost immediately, and her dad’s cheerful voice chirped through to her.
‘Becky! Hey! Are you still out?’ he asked, giving a chuckle. ‘Isa’s not happy about it but— That’s alright, I’ll talk to her before you get home and see if I can’t convince her to go easy on you. Are you and Mattel having fun, at least? Why did you call? Do you need anything?’
Becky opened her mouth to answer, but… couldn’t. Instead, she just rasped a weak breath into the phone.
‘Becky?’ her father’s tone dropped to concern. ‘Becky? Are you alright?’
‘Are you okay?’
‘I… Hel… help…. I… I need….’
She heard the sound of a chair falling to the floor, and drawers being hurriedly gone through.
‘Becky?’ his voice was full of worry. ‘Becky, where are you? I’m coming, okay. Where are you?’
‘I don’t… I don’t… know….’
‘Oh, god,’ his voice broke as he slammed a door shut. ‘Oh, god— Isa— ISA!’
Another bang, as he threw open a door— And a scream.
‘KEN!’ Isa’s voice shrieked, followed by the sound of splashing. ‘KEN GET OUT!’
‘Becky!’ Ken exclaimed, his voice breaking as something crashed into the wall beside him.
‘—Something’s happened!’ Ken said. ‘To Rebecca!’
More splashing, and Becky could hear the pair start to squabble— Isa demanding her clothes, and Ken hurrying away— And then, Isa’s voice spoke clearly.
‘Becky? Becky are you there?’
‘Isa…’ Becky managed to reply. ‘Isa… I need… help….’
‘We’re coming,’ Isa said, gently. ‘Okay. Where are you?’
‘I… I don’t….’
‘She doesn’t know!’ Ken replied, his voice breaking again.
‘Shush!’ Isa shushed the man. ‘Go get my phone! I can use family tracking to find her— Rebecca? Becky. Are you hurt? What happened?’
‘I don’t… know…’ Becky breathed. ‘I… I….’
She looked around. She saw glass over the dashboard. And the passenger-side seat…. And herself….
‘Isa, your phone!’ Ken’s voice muttered hurriedly. Though, Becky barely heard him.
She was too busy looking at the blood.
There was a lot of blood. On her legs. Her side…. Who’s blood was this?
She saw a branch of the tree she’d slammed into had punctured her chair, near her right shoulder.
‘Rebecca?’ Isa said, her voice firm but worried. ‘Rebecca, answer me. Are you hurt?’
Slowly, Becky reached up and touched the wound on her shoulder.
‘I…’ her voice was barely a whisper. ‘I think… I’m… bleeding….’
‘Get in the car,’ Isa hissed to Ken. ‘Now! Becky, we’re coming. Okay? I can see where you are. Don’t move. We will be there soon.’
‘Mm,’ Becky leant forward, and rested her head on the dashboard. ‘I’m so… tired….’
‘Becky,’ Isa said firmly. ‘Becky, listen to me. You stay awake.’
‘Do not close your eyes,’ Isa told her. ‘Talk to me. Becky. Talk to me. Is Mattel there? Is she okay?’
‘No? No she’s not there, or no she’s not okay?’
‘Not… here…’ Becky replied.
‘Where is she?’
‘Mm…. Don’t… know…. Didn’t…. Wasn’t… with me….’
‘I…. The car…’ Becky felt herself drifting away. ‘The… car….’
‘You were in the car?’ Isa asked, slowly. ‘You crashed?’
‘Becky, keep talking to me.’
Becky tried to keep her eyes open, but she could feel exhaustion creeping deep into every bone and couldn’t find the energy to keep her heavy lids from closing.
‘Becky? Talk to me! Becky?!’ Isa’s voice began to fade, growing quieter and quieter as the world grew black.
Then, suddenly, she was in the air; carried between Isa and Ken as they heaved her into the backseat of her father’s car.
‘Isa…?’ Becky managed. ‘Dad?’
Ken let out a relieved whimper, and she felt his lips press into the side of her head. ‘You’re okay,’ he told her. ‘You’re going to be okay. We’re here.’
‘Lay her down,’ said Isa. ‘Sit with her. I’ll drive to the hospital, you just keep her awake. Becky? Do you hear me? I need you to stay awake.’
Becky wasn’t… sure she could do that….
She felt her dad squeeze her hand tight as the car began to move, and he leant down to bury his face in her hair.
‘You’ll be okay,’ he said, quietly. ‘I promise. I’m here. I’m here…. I promise, I’m here….’
Becky felt herself give a weak laugh.
‘—That’s… a first…’ she joked.
‘Rebecca…’ Isa muttered from the front seat. ‘Rebecca that’s— FUCK!’
Isa slammed the breaks, and the car screeched to a stop.
‘Isa?!’ Ken’s voice broke as he gripped his daughter tight to stop her rolling off the seat. ‘Isa? What happened?!’
Isa let out a long, slow breath, placing her hands firmly on the steering wheel and shaking her head.
‘I almost hit a deer.’
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